Accused of “fiddling” home start stats, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said it was those of his predecessor that were dodgy – with his present accusers putting politics before the success of social housing policy.
To GLA Tories, that didn’t add up and Khan was warned his maths was marked.
At Mayor’s Question Time today (21st March) Andrew Boff AM challenged Khan with figures he said showed that of the 12,526 new affordable homes started in the capital over the last financial year, 1,256 were restarts from previous years.
Khan has faced down previous accusations of double counting, being previously said to have double counted only 500 homes during 2017/18 when the real figure was much larger – with over 10% of all affordable homes being restarts.
Boff said that the new statistics made a mockery of Khan’s assertion that he built over 12,500 affordable homes in 2017/18 – his minimum target for the year.
Khan stood by the accuracy of his stats meeting government criteria, saying the “dodgy” figures were those of the previous mayor.
In the chamber, Khan called for Boff’s accusations to be withdrawn as “very serious allegations” council officers could not defend themselves against.
Boff maintained his accusations were against the Mayor alone, warning Khan future figures would be fine-toothcombed for discrepancies.
In turn, Khan accused Tories of wanting to see his administration’s housing policies fail rather than recognising London as having started more social homes than “the rest of the country put together”.
But speaking after the session, Boff upped the ante saying Khan was “shameless” in trying to trick Londoners into believing he had met his own housing targets.
“The fact that the Mayor double counted over 10% of his affordable housing starts will come as a slap in the face to all those Londoners who dream of owning their own home.
“The Mayor went to great lengths to brag about reaching his housing target last year. Now we know that this was all smoke and mirrors, and in reality he was way off hitting even his minimum target,” Boff said.